White clawed crayfishWHITE CLAWED CRAYFISH (AUSTROPOTAMOBIUS PALLIPES)
LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN
White clawed crayfish have a wide distribution nationally, although naturally absent from western Wales, Scotland, parts of western England and parts of Ireland. Populations have declined by between 25-49% over the last 25 years. Distribution in the Cheshire region is patchy. The water quality of many rivers is often unsuitable or they do not have the required habitat features. There are, however significant populations of white clawed crayfish in the Weaver/Dane and Goyt/Etherow catchments. There are also records of signal crayfish in the Weaver/Dane, Goyt/Etherow and Bollin catchments.
The international importance of this species led to its inclusion in the short list of priority species by the U.K. Government's Biodiversity Steering Group Report (1995). White clawed crayfish are protected under Schedule 5 of Wildlife and Countryside Act, Appendix III of the Bern Convention and Annexes IIa and Va of the European Habitats and Species Directive.
Annexe II requires designation of protected areas for listed species (none of which are in the Cheshire region).
* Loss of habitat due to development.
* Competition for food and habitat from introduced crayfish species.
* Crayfish plague.
* Decline in water quality due to pollution.
* Synthetic pyrethroid insecticides.
How are we helping to conserve the White Clawed Crayfish in the Cheshire region?
* MSc Student projects on the River Dane investigating the interactions between native and signal crayfish.
* Mitigation measures for crayfish are being implemented as part of the A500 Shavington Hough Bypass scheme.
* Cheshire County Council, Countryside Management Service raising awareness of crayfish issues within the Weaver Dane Catchment
Objectives, Targets and Actions
Objectives, targets and actions to help conserve white clawed crayfish in the Cheshire region can be found on the Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS) along with full details of our progress so far.
How to find out more about the White Clawed Crayfish
Environment Agency information on crayfish - website
UK BAP for Freshwater White Clawed Crayfish - www.ukbap.org.uk/UKPlans.aspx?ID=124?
LBAP Chair Phil Preston
Phone: 01942 673 609
Mobile: 07921 156 573
National Lead Partner Game Conservancy Trust National Lead Contacts Dr David Rogers and Elizabeth Watson
Phone: 01332 850156
References & Glossary
Environment Agency river corridor surveys
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 1: Meeting the Rio Challenge, London.
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 2:Action Plans, London.
Holdich, D.M., Reader, J.P. and Rogers, W.D. (1994): Crayfish Conservation R&D Project, National Rivers Association.